A well-to-do Sydney party disintegrates into chaos and panic when a bomb goes off forcing 5 friends into a 1960's nuclear shelter. As food and water runs out they are forced to make an impossible decision - either one dies or they all die.
Written By: Tim R. Lea
Directed By: Tim R. Lea
Locked in a confined space with a few people can be tedious at the best of times. When you're in a bunker after a nuclear blast, with diminishing supplies and a handful of people, how long could you hold out before you begin to loose your marbles? Claustrophobia and dehydration, mixed in with with fear is the main premise behind 54 Days. Marketed to appeal to the Sci-Fi lover in all of us, what we end up with is more a study in stress and people than a Science Fiction theater. However you want to slice it though, Tim R. Lea has put together an entertaining hour and a half. The fact that most of it takes place in a single location, and that it still manages to entertain... Well that's just another great story in itself.
The pacing in 54 days is set up well. We have a quick start, introducing the main cast and setting up the plot. We also have all the great elements that slowly build to a satisfying conclusion. A few scenes in the film hit the nail right on the head and play off brilliantly. Segments such as the "Train Scene", as I call it, really show the human side of the characters. However... There are times the film drags a little. I feel that cutting out six or seven minutes may have really helped 54 Days and still kept it at a feature length. Sure. We're only talking a few minutes, but by the end of the film those few minutes really count. At the same time though I really commend Tim R. Lea for being able to hold my attention at all for an hour and a half. That's no easy task at the best of times, and because 54 Days has very "Limited" locations I'm completely amazed he managed to pull it off at all! But he did it and did it well.
The film was also pulled together nicely by a good edit and some well above average audio. I always write a personal thank you for good audio. Always overlooked in the Indie world but it makes all the difference. Where 54 days really shines through is with it's set design and nice camera work/lighting. A lot can be said about a set that actually puts you in the room with the actors. Even more can be said when you have the ability to use lighting properly, and know how to compose a shot. Expertly done and bravo!
What's the real treat when watching 54 Days? The cast. Each character jumps out at you as if they are in "Your" space. For a while, I actually looked for some kind of "Cheesy" element in the acting. Eventually I forgot what I was looking for and simply enjoyed the film. The chemistry, including the awkward chemistry, played off on screen damn near perfect. Whoever cast 54 Days should pat themselves on the back because this was a job done to great effect. Hats off ladies and gents. Bravo.
In the end we're left with a very cool film well worth a view from both Film Lovers and Industry people alike. 54 Days is a lesson in great Indie Filmmaking! My only complaint? I wish I had gotten an autographed DVD.
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